Writing for Business and Industry



Running headers and footers

Headers are text blocks that display at the top of word processing pages. Using Header formatting also means that as you edit or add text to your paper, the header text won't move, as will happen if you try to type it in manually at the top of each page.

Their general purpose is to help keep the reader oriented and to aid in document navigation.

Possible things to place in a running header or footer

When you format the running header

Running headers for two-sided printing

If you look at a book, you'll see that the running headers are different on the even and odd numbered pages. The page number ALWAYS goes to the outside edge. The other text varies by the individual book.

In the recommendation report, you must format the document with different even and odd page running headers.

How to do it

Inserting a basic running header

Different first page or different even & odd pages

Having different running header within a document


Inserting a basic running header

1. Click on View-Header and Footer.

    The header window will open up.

2. Type in the text.
    There are preset tabs for left, centered, and right.

    Never type in the page number. You must use the insert number control on the header toolbar so that Word will
    automatically insert the proper number.


Different first page or different even & odd pages

Having a different running header on the first page (useful if you don't want a page number, etc on the title page) or formatting the document for different even and odd pages, which is used for two-sided printing.

1. Click on View-Header and Footer.

    The header window will open up.

2. Click on the page setup icon on the tool bar (or use File-Page setup).

3. Under the layout tab, select either or both Different odd and even or Different first page.


4. Notice that the running header box has changed from just saying "Header" to "Odd Page Header"
     To edit the odd, even, and first page running headers, navigate betwen them with the controls at the
     right end of the toolbar.

      You can type completely different text into each header or footer.


Having different running header within a document

The running headers are section properties in Word. So if you want to change the running header, you must insert a section break. The running header title will list which section number it applies to (they are numbered from the beginning of the document).

One use is to have the front matter numbered with lower roman numerals and the main body with arabic numbers. That requires a section break between those two parts of the document.

A big gotcha

One gotch with Word and multiple section documents is that the running header defaults to "same as previous." In other words, the running header will match the first one. Actually, what happens is that the document only really has 1 running header and the last change made anyplace in the document shows up on all of the running headers.

To prevent this problem, you need to unselect the "Same as previous" button on the toolbar. This only appears on the toolbar wen working with section 2 or higher.


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